LORD Stuart Rose, newly appointed chairman of the pro-EU campaign, officially launched ‘Britain, Stronger in Europe’ on Monday, October 12.
The EU referendum is expected in Britain by 2017 and an opposing campaign, named ‘Vote Leave,’ was launched on Friday, October 9.
Ex-Marks and Spencer’s chief, Lord Rose, is joined on the board by Sir Peter Wall, former Chief of the General Staff, as well as Vice Chairwoman of West Ham United, Baroness Brady and popular TV presenter June Sarpong.
Rose immediately questioned the ‘patriotic’ angle of the anti-EU campaigners by saying:
“To claim that the patriotic course for Britain is to retreat, withdraw and become inward-looking is to misunderstand who we are as a nation.
“I will not allow anyone to tell me I’m any less British because I believe in the strongest possible Britain for business, for our security and our society,” he added.
Former Prime Ministers, Sir John Major, Gordon Brown and Tony Blair are lending their support to the campaign, as are Labour MP Chuka Umunna, Conservative MP Damian Green, and Green Party MP Caroline Lucas.
Vote Leave, meanwhile, is in competition with ‘Leave.EU’ to become the official OUT campaign ahead of the referendum.
The Electoral Commission has not yet designated the official campaigns for either side of the EU debate.
The groups which become official will receive an increased spending limit of £7m (€9.45m) during the campaign period as well as campaign broadcasts and a free mailout to households.